posted March 22, 2010

GPS to Feature Grammy-Winning Kronos Quartet on April 6

The Hope College Great Performance Series will feature the legendary Grammy-winning ensemble, Kronos Quartet, at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

For more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet - David Harrington, John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello) - has pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has performed thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 650 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos' work has also garnered numerous awards, including a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and "Musicians of the Year" (2003) from Musical America.

"String quartets were a dying breed. Along came Kronos... the world's most successful chamber group. Kronos' perfectionism, determination and high profile have revived a dying genre," said "Newsweek" magazine.

"The San Francisco Examiner" has said, "The Kronos has renewed and redefined the string quartet form and the chamber music experience."

Kronos' adventurous approach dates back to the ensemble's origins. Kronos began building a diverse repertoire for string quartet, performing and recording works by 20th-century masters, contemporary composers, jazz legends and artists from even farther afield, such as rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix, Azeri vocalist Alim Qasimov and avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn.

Integral to Kronos' work is a series of long-running, in-depth collaborations with many of the world's foremost composers. One of the quartet's most frequent composer-collaborators is "Father of Minimalism" Terry Riley, whose work with Kronos includes the early "Sunrise of the Planetary Dream Collector"; "Cadenza on the Night Plain" and "Salome Dances for Peace"; 2002's "Sun Rings," a multimedia, NASA-commissioned ode to the earth and its people, featuring celestial sounds and images from space; and "The Cusp of Magic," commissioned in honor of Riley's 70th birthday celebrations in 2005 and recorded and released in 2008.

In addition to composers, Kronos counts numerous artists from around the world among its collaborators, including the Chinese pipa virtuoso Wu Man; legendary Bollywood "playback singer" Asha Bhosle, featured on Kronos' Grammy-nominated CD, "You've Stolen My Heart: Songs from R.D. Burman's Bollywood"; Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq; Mexican rockers Café Tacuba; genre-defying sound artist and instrument builder Walter Kitundu; the Romanian gypsy band Taraf de Haïdouks; renowned American soprano Dawn Upshaw; and the unbridled British cabaret trio, the Tiger Lillies. Kronos has performed live with the likes of Allen Ginsberg, Zakir Hussain, Modern Jazz Quartet, Tom Waits, David Barsamian, Howard Zinn, Betty Carter and David Bowie, and has appeared on recordings by diverse talents such as Nine Inch Nails, Amon Tobin, Dan Zanes, DJ Spooky, Dave Matthews, Nelly Furtado, Rokia Traoré, Joan Armatrading and Don Walser.

Kronos' music has also featured prominently in other media, including film ("Requiem for a Dream," "The Fountain," "21 Grams," "Heat," "True Stories") and dance, set on pieces by noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma.

Tickets for the performance are on sale at the ticket office in the main lobby of the DeVos Fieldhouse, and cost $17 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $6 for children 18 and under. The ticket office is open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and can be called at (616) 395-7890.

The DeVos Fieldhouse is located at 222 Fairbanks Ave., between Ninth and 11th streets.  Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.

Additional information on the ensemble may be obtained online by visiting www.kronosquartet.org or www.hope.edu/gps.